"It is rare that a graduating PhD student can produce such an influential amount of work in 2-3 years."

Dr. Jian Pei

Dr. Yu Yang receives Governor General's Gold Medal

As one of SFU's most outstanding graduate students from the Faculty of Applied Sciences, Dr. Yu Yang is being recognized with the Governor General's Gold Medal. On behalf of SFU, we congratulate Dr. Yang as well as all Convocation Medal recipients on their outstanding achievements.

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June 10, 2019

During his doctoral research at SFU, Dr. Yu Yang invented of a number of key algorithms for deploying viral marketing campaigns in social networks. Beyond his algorithms, he has also made multiple key contributions to the area of social network influence analysis and their applications.

"Social networks are full of commercial values due to the social propagation effect. My research contributes both effective and efficient algorithmic tools to leveraging the propagation effect in marketing, which enables companies to deploy their viral marketing campaigns in large-scale social networks," explains Yang. 

The quality of Dr. Yang’s research is published in high-impact academic journals , attracting significant attention and citations shortly after publication, and he has also presented at conferences that are most competitive in his area of expertise.

Bridging the public-academic divide, his research and skills are sought after by influential international corporations as well as many universities.

Dr. Yang's supervisor, Dr. Jian Pei says "Yu’s thesis is outstanding in both scientific merits and practical impact. It is rare that a graduating PhD student can produce such an influential amount of work in 2-3 years.”

"I would like to express my sincere gratitude to my supervisor Dr. Jian Pei, who provided great guidance and support to me on both academic research and life during these years," acknowledges, Yang.

SFU holds a special place in Yang's heart. "My PhD study at SFU was a fantastic journey. At SFU, I have built the foundations of my research career, worked with amazing faculty, staff and students, and most importantly, I met my wife, Ragina Yin (an SFU alumnus and an SFU staff)," says, Yang. 

Dr. Yu Yang is currently a tenure-track Assistant Professor at the School of Data Science at City University of Hong Kong.

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